7.9/10
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The House I Live In (2012)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 5 October 2012 (USA)
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From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, a penetrating look inside America's criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy.

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, (additional writing)
4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself - Narrator / Interviewer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michelle Alexander ...
Herself - Author, The New Jim Crow
Mark W. Bennett ...
Himself - U.S. Federal Judge (as Hon. Mark Bennett)
...
Himself (archive footage) (as Joseph Biden)
Michael Bien ...
Himself - Civil Rights Attorney
Charles Bowden ...
Himself - Investigative Reporter
Mike Carpenter ...
Himself - Chief of Security, Lexington Corrections
Betty Chism ...
Herself - Kevin's mother
Michael Correa ...
Himself
Michael Correia ...
Himself - Commanding Officer, Narcotics (as Lt. Michael Correia)
Eric Franklin ...
Himself - Lexington Corrections Center (as Warden Eric Franklin)
Glendon Goldsboro ...
Himself - Providence Police (as Lt. Glendon Goldsboro)
Maurice Haltiwanger ...
Himself - ID# 03678-029
Carl Hart ...
Himself, associate professor of psychology, Columbia University
Elzie Hooks ...
Himself, inmate, Lexington Correctional Center
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Storyline

From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, a penetrating look inside America's criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the past 40 years, the War on Drugs has accounted for 45 million arrests, made America the world's largest jailer, and destroyed impoverished communities at home and abroad. See more »

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| | | | |

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amerikkalainen huumesota  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$16,453 (USA) (5 October 2012)

Gross:

$210,752 (USA) (8 February 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Edited into Independent Lens: The House I Live In (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

IF YOU'RE EVER IN OKLAHOMA
Written and Performed by J.J. Cale
Published by BMG Platinum Songs on behalf of Audiogram Songs, Inc.
Courtesy of Mercury Records Limited
under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well-crafted advocacy piece with a few distracting flaws.
19 September 2012 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

The House I Live In is a very informative work of advocacy that's only thinly masquerading as a documentary. It's a more reformed, nuanced version of a Michael Moore piece that has a clear point of advocacy aimed squarely at whatever practical center still exists. It doesn't hit you over the head with a message or misleading facts but squarely lets you arrive at the conclusion that the drug war has failed.

It's not an anti-corporate rant with a clear villain to rally against. I left thinking that there was enough material and story there to easily fill a mini-series or a Ken Burns style documentary without getting preachy or creating fatigue.

It has enlightening and entertaining moments, but there are many flaws in the storytelling. Many characters are introduced, many of which with too much or not enough background, and seem to float around their promised purpose without really landing at a point or purpose. (Given the ending theme of the work, perhaps this is intentional.)

David Simon's incredibly powerful monologues bring a saving grace to moments in the film that tend to struggle, especially moments where the director awkwardly inserts himself into the film.

Unlike a lot of similar works, you could probably take your Republican parents to see it without the evening being automatically ruined.

Unlike almost every other advocacy piece I've seen, it achieves its goal of starting a conversation, rather than ending one.


42 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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